The Artist - great acting and a set to die for, but House of Tolerance hard to take
As we wrap up the first week of the 12-day festival, I have to ask myself, "How many people did I see die on screen?" Dear reader, there is plenty of death in the selections at the 64th Cannes Film Festival. Dark, dark, dark. Stay tuned! We’ll do a body count at the end of the festival and give you a wrap up of movies to run to, and those to avoid.
Sometimes human traffic jams occur here at Cannes, at the most inopportune moments. I came across one such scrum of people as I was dashing to an interview. The crowd, following a person I still couldn’t see from behind, would not disperse.
Bodyguards pushed people back and I was able to break free and dash off. Not before turning around and getting a glimpse of Ms Anger Management - Naomi Campbell - in the flesh. Sans cell phone, thankfully.
Sunday proved to be a bizarre day, filmatically. I think everyone needed a lovely Jack Russell terrier and some 20s tap dancing to lift the macabre mood. I’m talking about The Artist, a lovely black and white silent (yes!) film from French director Michel Hazanavicius.
The music is monumental, the acting superb, and the set design is to die for. Jean Dujardin plays George Valentin, a silent film star upstaged by ingenue Peppy Miller, played by a spunky Berenice Bejo, and the advent of talking movies.
Shot in the US with an American crew, Dujardin hammed it up on and off the set. The beauty of silent film is that you can say what you want without anyone knowing. He told reporters that he made up words that the American crew thought were French.
Uggy, the dog, didn’t come to Cannes, much to the disappointment of many. Can you believe there is a best dog palme award here? Considering that all the other dogs in film I’ve seen so far were normal - ie they didn’t save their owners, or dance - Uggy will certainly clinch it. Yay, Uggy!
The evening showing, House of Tolerance, was barely tolerable. A freak show in lingerie. French director Bertrand Bonello tries to titilate, but falls flat. Did I mention a black panther, the brothel pet?
Half of the action in the film, which takes place in a bordello at the turn of the century, cannot even be printed here, and it’s not exactly what you think. T&A usually brings a crowd, but in this case, don’t let that tempt you.
The house, filled with an assortment of beautiful women, never invests in any of them, with the exception of the Jewess, whose client attacks her and gives her a Glasgow smile. Icky poo.
The costumes, sexy silk corsets and frothy, lacy underwear, pleased the eye, but who watches a movie only for the costumes? C’est le bordel, vraiment.
Another night, another party, again on the beach. Nice, but I expected naked men on trapezes peeling grapes and popping them into my mouth. Maybe next time? As long as no death by dancing is involved, of course.